Incident Management Teams


Georgia Incident Management Teams (AHIMT) involve the organization and management of a community’s most serious, complex and costly incidents. These incidents must be managed in a safe and economical manner taking into consideration incident objectives, resource values, social, environmental, and political issues. The Type III Georgia Incident Management Teams are considered "all hazard" disciplines, as they may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities, mass casualty incidents and hazardous materials releases. The events may be slow in developing, as in the case of hurricanes, or sudden, as in the case of earthquakes.


Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPD) 5, 8, and the National Response Plan were developed under the George W. Bush administration in large part as a result of the terrorism events that occurred on September 11 of 2001. The intent of HSPD-5 among other things was to establish a National Incident Management System (that “provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity.” (Tom Ridge, 2004)

The Georgia State Legislature addressed the issues of HSPD-5 regarding incident management in the 2004 legislative session with SB 245 which was subsequently passed by both bodies of the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. This provision of the law tasked the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) to “...establish and maintain a standardized, verifiable, performance- based unified incident command system; to provide for the implementation of such command system; to provide penalties for local agencies that do not establish such command system (O.C.G.A 38- 3.22). Furthermore O.C.G.A. 38-3-57 was added to the Code and stipulates that GEMA/HS, The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC )”... shall develop or adopt a course of instruction for use in training and certifying emergency personnel in unified incident command.” This section of the Code also stipulates that GEMA, in collaboration with other state agencies and other appropriate organizations, develop a standardized, verifiable, performance-based unified incident command system which is consistent with the State Emergency Operations Plan and shall be used in response to emergencies and disasters.

The Georgia Fire Academy (GFA), as a component of GPSTC, began meeting with GEMA and the GFC in accordance with O.C.G.A. 38-3-57. Incident Management Team (AHIMT) Steering Committees met on several occasions throughout the State in 2006 to develop the process for identifying, developing, and implementing AHIMT’s as directed by Presidential Directives and stipulated in Georgia Code. During this period applications were solicited for team members. Representatives from GEMA/HS, GFA, and the GFC have met regularly to provide oversight and direction for NIMS and AHIMT development and implementation.

The Georgia All Hazards Incident Management Teams are state resources authorized through GEMA/HS and governed by a Committee comprised of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), Georgia Fire Academy, and the Georgia Forestry Commission. These All Hazards Incident Management Teams are designed to provide consequence management assistance to first responders during the initial hours of a critical incident, or until substantial State and Federal assistance can arrive. This specialized operational assistance is an augmentation to local IMT (Type IV and V) once it is recognized that incident conditions will exceed local asset capabilities and significant regional or state assets will be required. The AHIMT are also capable of operating on behalf of local jurisdiction responders, in cooperation with GMAG, when they are either absent or conditions exceed their internal capabilities.

In March of 2007 the AHIMT kick-off meeting was held at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). During 2007 a Charter was developed for the Georgia Type III All Hazard Incident Management Team and reviewed at the Lake Blackshear Steering Committee meeting. In November of 2007, the GFA commenced offering the Type III AHIMT course. This course was offered twice in 2007 and again in 2009. Following the AHIMT training classes several incidents occurred in 2008 which resulted in team or partial team deployments. While these incidents occurred prior to team members receiving position specific training or shadowing assignments, they nevertheless offered valuable opportunities for team members to begin practicing their skills. Several AHIMT personnel met with representatives from the Georgia Forestry Commission to train and implement the Incident Qualifications System (IQS) for the purpose of tracking qualifications for AHIMT personnel.

During the second half of 2009 GFA began offering position specific training classes for AHIMT personnel. By the end of calendar year 2009, GFA has offered the Type III AHIMT course three times and Position Specific training courses for all Section Chief positions once.

The role of these AHIMT is to support local emergency responders' efforts.

Questions, comments, and suggested improvements to the program are encouraged. Any information, requests for change, or comments should be directed, in writing, to:

Ed Westbrook
Training and Exercise Program Manager
Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
2046 Collier Road, Forsyth, Georgia 31029